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Chi Modu: Veteran Nigerian-born American Hip-Hop Photographer Dies At 54

Chi Modu, the veteran Nigerian-born American hip-hop photographer, has passed away at 54.

His family broke the news in a terse post via his social media pages on Saturday night.

The family said the development has left “our hearts broken” while calling on the public to respect their privacy as they grapple with the loss.

“Our hearts are broken… We continue the fight.  The family request privacy at this time,” it read.

The family, however, did not explain the circumstances surrounding the demise of the legendary photographer.

Modu was born to Nigerian parents in Arondizuogu area of Imo state. His family had, however, fled the country to New Jersey due to the raging civil war at the time.

The deceased kickstarted his photography career by shooting for several local newspapers in New York including the New York Amsterdam News and The Source.

He continued to pull the strings and went on to establish himself as a household name in the global photography landscape.

His photos are especially notable for the personal and intimate camera angles of prominent music artistes including Biggie, Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg, Mobb Deep, LL Cool J, Mary J. Blige, the Notorious B.I.G. and Wu-Tang Clan.

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Tributes have started pouring in for the late photographer as many fans took to Twitter to share fond memories of his personality and works.

“Rest in peace to the great Chi Modu. Sad to see this news. Among his many brilliant shots, I will always most remember/cherish these photos of Bone Thugs taken in Cleveland, 1995,” he wrote.


“#ChiModu. Rest In Power. He made the visuals of hip-hop electric, magnetic and immortal with his camera. If you are of the culture, you’ve got at least one of his photos forever seared into your perspective,” another user wrote.


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